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May 12, 2010

Day in the Life of a Yelp Account Manager

Would you believe following the popular Day in the Life series we ran a few months ago, that Yelp has grown even MORE! That means because we're looking for even more eager recruits to join our team, we thought we'd give you a peek into some of the other exciting and rewarding roles at Yelp in addition to Community Managers, Account Executives and Engineers!

Next up to bat in the series is Kadecia W. Recently transplanted from San Francisco HQ to our newly opened Yelp Phoenix digs, Kadecia talks about her day to day role as a Yelp Account Manager, working with Yelp advertisers and the unique situations they sometimes face, as well as how maracas help get Yelp Phoenix into the groove!


How did you first hear about Yelp and the job opening?
I ran a tutoring center before Yelp. A colleague told me to check out the site because she thought I would like what the company was doing. Once I spent some time on Yelp, I thought the idea of working with small business advertisers would be a great fit for me because I enjoy talking with people and working in a fast paced environment.

What's your title at Yelp and how long have you been with the company?
I'm an Account Manager and work with small business advertisers on Yelp to provide more in-depth insight on how Yelp advertising works, answer any and all questions and make sure that they are getting the most out of Yelp. I came on board in July 2008, and in early 2010 I joined a migration of Yelp workers from San Francisco to our brand new Phoenix office.

What comprises a typical day for you?
I arrive between 7:30 and 8:30am, and get my morning started with a cup of black tea and toast with peanut butter and apples from the infamous Yelp kitchen. I then sort through the emails that I received the evening before; check my voice mails and then conduct about 3-4 client orientation calls for new clients.

Tell me more about your client calls?
As part of advertising on Yelp, every client gets a designated Account Manager. That person is responsible for working with that business to make sure that they are educated on the tools available to them, as well as how the service works. We're also there should they ever have a question. In fact, clients often call me when they receive a critical review and they’re upset and want us to take it down. I listen to their situation, and share ways to resolve the issue by sending the reviewer a private message or posting a public comment on the review and explain that Yelp will not remove a review unless it's in violation of our review guidelines.  Oftentimes, that’s all they need to know, but all my clients - and their situations - can be unique! Some issues come up frequently so I can use the background I have to resolve the issues quickly. Other times, we discuss an issue and then together take a step back to look at the big picture. For example, one restaurant owner was upset with a critical review from a customer who ate at their outside patio. The customer got up to do something else during the meal, and wrote that when she returned, ants had gotten to her food. We worked together to craft a nice public response that basically said: yes, if you eat outside and leave your food unguarded, bugs will come. More often than not, all it really takes is providing a human element to talk through a situation.

What is your favorite perk at Yelp?
I love the fact that Yelp invests in its employees. They've gone to great lengths to make sure the little things that have contributed to our great work culture are in place in all of Yelp's offices. One of my favorites -- the Yelp kegerator -- remains a standard feature in San Francisco, New York and Phoenix - and who doesn't look forward to an informal Friday 5pm Happy Hour?!

What has been your favorite memory at Yelp?
One of my best experiences so far is meeting clients in Phoenix.  Most small businesses here are located in strip malls that are spread out, and that's a very different setting than San Francisco, Los Angeles, or Chicago, where I'm used to talking about the city demographics and advertising to thousands of people in just a few square miles. For example, I visited a client who owns a trendy salon here in Phoenix, but when I arrived at the strip mall I was surprised by the bland decor outside. However, once I stepped inside it felt like I had been whisked away to a top salon in a massive metropolis! One thing I'm learning about visiting businesses in Phoenix is that looks can be deceiving.
 
What's the BEST part of working for Yelp?
We are a very vocal group! So much so that I bought a maraca and painted a Yelp burst on it to shake when something exciting in the office happens - anything from a new visitor to a happy client. So the rest of the team can join in, I also bought some hand drums. It’s just so cool to get ten celebrations a day and work somewhere where my co-workers are always singing and dancing. I have no doubt that a Yelp band is in the near future.

What separates Yelp from other places you've worked? 
I've never worked at a place where everyone is so invested in seeing each other succeed. Yelp is like a large family, everyone is unique, but committed to the same purpose. And because there is a family feel to our environment  there's always someone around to cheer you on and help you out when things get challenging. There's never been a day when I've dreaded coming to the office, and that's not something I can say about my previous jobs.

Finally, what would be your one piece of advice for someone interested in your role?
A good Account Manager has to be passionate about helping small businesses succeed.  In this role you get the chance to work with business owners all over the country across a variety of industries.  It's important to educate yourself on various industries, the internet, and consumer behavior.  For me there's no better feeling than talking to a client whose business is growing and expanding because of the new business they've generated from Yelp.